Friday, April 14, 2006


In Which I (what else?) Chase the White Rabbit...

Somebody once said that if you want to find a number in the yellow pages, you shouldn't look under the first listing you'd think, but the second or third listing that might occur to you. For example, don't look under "Doctor"; look under "Physicians." Don't look under "Hooker"; look under "Escort Services." You get the idea.

Well, my life is kind of like that. If something happens--say, the freakishly large white fur rug with eyeballs/rabbit that you're taking care of suddenly vanishes from the kitchen where he was supposed to be scampering--I've learned never to choose the most obvious, easiest or optimistic option first. In this particular case, that would have been to run into the living room and see if anything white and furry showed up in stark relief against my neighbors' dark carpet. But that would just be too easy.

No, instead I looked immediately towards the two doors on my right. One led to the basement and one led to the garage, but both doors shared the same feature, which was a small pet entry--the previous owners had cats--installed at the bottom of each one.

And when I say small I mean small. As in less than six inches square. As in less than the appropriate width for all but the slimmest of cats to fit through, let along a honking big white rabbit.

Except...I had just seen Uggs Bunny in action, squirming through the stovepipes installed in his giant metallic rabbit condo. Based on what I'd witnessed, it wasn't entirely clear to me that this rabbit had a single solid bone in his body. And it's been my experience that, vertebrae or no, most anything a small animal can get his head through, he can get his body through.

Most importantly, based on what I knew about my luck, probability demanded that Uggs make a beeline for the garage door, the fastest route to the outside. Assuming there was another pet entry out there.

I leapt to the door and opened it into a space of utter darkness.

I looked on the kitchen side for some kind of light switch. Nothing. I reached my hand around to the inside wall of the garage, feeling blindly for a light switch. I felt something switch-like and was about to flick it, when something commanded me to freeze.

You know that's not a light switch, that something said. You know that with your luck it will be the garage-door opener. Find another switch and hit that.

I crept my hand down the wall just a tad, and there was a second thing that felt switch-like. Feeling smug, I hit that switch instead.

And of course the garage door opened immediately.

Luckily, an interior and exterior light were activated at the same time, illuminating a two-car garage. One bay was empty; in the other my neighbors had left their luxury sedan parked. I didn't really look at the sedan, though. Instead, I was heading for the driveway beyond the opening door, swearing as I went. Because I had fully expected to see Uggs making his dash for freedom. I reached the driveway and did a 360-degree turn. No sign of Uggs. In fact, no sign of life at all.

Except for Blaze, who had been snoozing on the plush, rug-like welcome mat of our neighbors' doorstep, and who bestirred himself the moment I appeared. He gave me a baleful look, and thought his doggy thoughts, then laid back down on the soft mat. Surely if he had seen a large white rabbit undulating across the driveway, he'd have been strangling himself on the leash to get free and chase it. Wouldn't he?

I backed into the garage, walking ass-end first all the way to the door switch, just in case Uggs was hiding on the other side of the sedan and pelted away while my back was turned. After a brief dance with a rolling garbage can that I reversed into, I found the switches and closed the garage door.

When the door was down again, I saw that a pet-door had indeed been installed in a low corner of it, but it looked like my neighbors had sealed it, leading me to believe old Uggs just may have tried to pull a Papillon on them a time or two before. I searched around the garage, crouching and peeking under the sedan. Nothing.

Back in the kitchen, I closed the door to the garage and tried the basement door, but it was locked. I seemed to recall the husband had a home office down there, which might explain the need for a lockable basement door, but this kind of rankled me. What the hell kind of neighbor did he think I was that he felt the need to lock his basement? Did he think I was going to go down there and rummage around?

(Well, actually, I was. But that's beside the point.)

I bent down and tried to peer through the pet door. Of course, there was total blackness. I briefly entertained the idea of sticking my hand in the door, on the off-chance Uggs was stupid enough to be sitting just on the other side. But I had a vision of Her Lovely Self finding me in the morning, arm hopelessly stuck in the door, my mind gone from listening to That Goddamn Bird and The Other One chittering at me all night, and I reconsidered.

Finally, I went into the living room and turned on the light. I did a circuit through the room, nudging tasteful floor lamps and bobbling expensive decorative items off of end tables as I went. No bunny was there.

He's got to be in the basement, I thought. If he had somehow escaped through the garage when I opened the door, Blaze would surely have seen him (wouldn't he?) and alerted me.

I sat down in my neighbors' leather recliner and thought a moment. If he was outside, there was no point hunting around in the dark trying to find him. If he was still in the house, he could be almost anywhere that a boneless lump of white fur could lodge himself, and that was quite a lot of places in a house like this. Meanwhile, the hour was growing late and I couldn't stay here all night.

In the end, I went back to the kitchen, causing the birds to chitter at me from their perch. I grabbed some spinach leaves from the fridge and broke them into tiny pieces. Yes, dear reader, I left a trail of spinach from the basement doorway back to the open hatch of the cage and decided to hope for the best. Maybe once I was gone, Uggs would return on his own and resume work on his memoirs ("Chapter 8: The Great Chase...").

This done, I turned out the lights, returned to the front door and was stepping out to lock the place up when I noticed that Blaze had done something very interesting:

He had vanished.

Disappeared from the porch just as suddenly as Uggs had vanished from the kitchen. All Blaze left behind was his collar and the leash.

I emitted a very short and loud swear word and then immediately went into my high-pitched, sing-songy castrato voice, telling my sweet little Blazeykins that he should c'mere, c'mon CA-mon big boy and just come on back to Daddy MM who luuuuuuuuuuuuvs him SO much and would he puh-lease, oh good Blazeyboy, just PUH-leeeze come back?

But that fucking dog wasn't buying it.

I walked all the way back to the house, calling and whistling and swearing some more. No dog. No bunny. But hey, at least the birds didn't get out, huh?

As I neared my own house, I say Her Lovely Self silhouetted in the doorway.

"What happened?" she asked. "You were gone for so long. And then I heard Blaze scratching at the back door. I thought you'd fallen down a well and sent him for help."

"Blaze is here? He actually came back on his own?" I asked, and it would not be incorrect to suppose I said this in a tone of absolute incredulity. In the numerous times that Blaze has escaped, it usually involves a multi-yard, hours-long search.

HLS nodded. "I couldn't believe it either. Slunk right in and went straight to his cage." Oh, the irony.

I poked my head in our family room and there he was, in his kennel, tail thumping against the back of it, eyeing me with certain guilty look that seemed to say Sorry I ran off and left you, but nothing very interesting was happening out on that porch.

I decided not to tell Her Lovely Self that I had lost the rabbit within 15 minutes of my first time feeding animals she had fed without incident a dozen times over. Instead, I simply resolved to get up for a really early feeding of the birds and hope that Uggs followed the spinach trail home, that fat, furry slug.

And so I went to bed.

Sorry to disappoint, but that was how the day ended, with the rabbit still missing and with the dog having got loose but found his way home on his own. Fade to black. If this seems unsatisfying to you in any way, think how I must feel. Long-time readers may recall that not everything that happens in my life ends wrapped up in a nice little packet of closure. Indeed, resolution often escapes me in the simplest aspects of my daily life.

Take, for example, my typical morning cup of coffee. Simple thing: load the coffee maker the night before, set it to start percolating just before you get up, pour it, drink it, the end.

But nothing is ever really that simple, is it? I mean, for me, there's always some coffee drama that's, er, brewing. There's no sugar. There's no milk. The coffee's too bitter or too weak. There's a crack in the cup. Or as soon as it's poured and I start walking with it, I begin humming "Pomp and Circumstance" and forget myself and stumble on a shoe or a Lego or a plastic dinosaur and scald myself. It's always something.

Take, for another, altogether more specific example, my morning cup of coffee this past Saturday morning. No problem finding creme and sugar, no breaks or scalds or anything of that nature.

But then I glanced at something in the family room and dropped the cup of coffee to a shattering end on the floor, while misting the nearby walls with my first mouthful.

You might, too, if this is what you saw.


(wait for it)



There is a shoe on the other rabbits foot joke in there somewhere....

"Pomp and Circumstance" ever since you mentioned hearing that in your head, back a while ago, I smirk with my daily cereal & coffee treck from the kitchen to the computer .

Blaze you D O G!
You know the expression "jaw-dropping"? Of course you do. I don't think that had happened to me before tonight. I was waiting for something, knew there'd be more than just you going to bed, but still... didn't expect that.

Jen in Iowa City with no blog
(and no tornado damage at my house either, thankfully)
Mother bitchez! Sorry, I just always wanted to say that.
You're kidding, right?! This is the Brownie's stuffed toy rabbit that Blaze just loves to cuddle with. No...this is just a really good Easter bunny story. Because I can't believe that one person lives with as much drama as you do.
all I can say is:

Hobbes: Mr. Bun seems comatose, did you notice?
Hilarious! What a good dog. :)

But I really think you should have learned by now not to hide things from HLS!
That grin on his face...I think Uggs needs to sleep with one eye open.
another great tail... Happy Easter.
That rabbit doesn't look real...:>
No way. I can't wait to hear this one. TJ and I were speculating over lunch and we're both stumped.

*anguished scream*
Why did Blaze allow this strange creature into his home? He wasn't so kind to the oppossum...of course, the oppossum threatened Brownie and I guess so far the rabbit-in-a-coma may seem harmless, but still...I'm surprised that bunny has not become a coat.
oh man. Do you owe the neighbors a new rabbit now? Or is Mr Bunny just having a sleep over?

I cannot wait until the next segment. Easter is going to be one long day.
Oh My God. Did that beast of a Bunny chase Blaze home? How the hell did it get in the house without anyone seeing it? How did it get out of the neighbors house? Does it think Blaze is just a big black bunny?
I can't wait to hear how you get it back home.
If (no, WHEN) this stuff gets made into a major motion picture, will you PLEASE put in the good word for me to do the connecting narration? I really want the chance to say "Meanwhile, back at the Magazine Mansion..."
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